I can admit that this year, my holiday wish list is long. There are a lot of things I want and need. Right at the top of my list is A BREAK. Like most moms, I’m busy taking care of everyone else and, especially at this time of year, I would love a little “me” time. I’ve been neglecting myself in a major way lately and feeling unkempt is especially unpleasant with holiday parties and family gatherings fast approaching. I don’t even think I’ve shaved my legs in over a week.
What’s a girl to do? I would love to jet away to a spa retreat for a few days in the Southwest or even get away for a day at a local salon and spa. Alas, both of those options require money and with my own holiday shopping to do, funds are a bit tight. Besides, as a beauty blogger, I have a lot of products around the house that are either underused or brand new that I’ve been dying to try. So … I decided to DIY the whole shebang with 24 hours of beauty and relaxation at home.
Could it be done? The everyday chaos of my family usually requires all hands on deck. As a work-from-home mom, I don’t even have a babysitter. Part social experiment, part well-deserved gift to myself, I gave it a whirl and tracked my day for your reading enjoyment.
6:30 AM: Ok, ok, I’m up. Well, my son, Julian, technically woke us up at 5:00 AM wanting to see our puppy, Yoko. I tried to go back to sleep but mostly just laid in bed moaning.
6:40 AM: My son thankfully did go back to sleep. The condo was quiet so I decided, in true spa fashion, to start the day with a little yoga. When I say “yoga” I mean more like “gentle stretching accompanied by more moaning.”
7:02 AM: The kid and puppy are up. Zen state broken.
7:23 AM: I have my usual breakfast of sprouted wheat toast with natural peanut butter but throw in a grapefruit to prove that I am extra healthy. I still make coffee (Spa Sonya is against caffeine withdrawal headaches). I actually remember to take my vitamins and drink a vitamin C pack for good measure.
7:38 AM: My darling husband, Sean, who is taking a personal day to help me, makes his first complaint with “I never said you could do nothing…” So, I empty the dishwasher and load it again, make my son’s lunch, and pick up a bit.
8:10 AM: Sean takes Julian to school. Time to get down to some beautifying. I don’t even open my laptop. I vow only to use my camera (and iPhone as a camera) and ignore email and social media.
8:15 AM: I brush, floss, and rinse before completing the Rodan + Fields Reverse beauty routine for sun damage. Out damn (age) spots! I dab Basq Cucumber Tea Eye Gel under my eyes and Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment on my lips.
8:45 AM: I carry all my mani/pedi supplies to the kitchen table (which doubles as my workspace) to find that my husband and son have left out their board game from the night before. Paper money is scattered everywhere so this takes a few minutes to organize and pick up.
9:00 AM: I’m finally ready to give myself a manicure. I barely get my old polish off when the doorbell rings. UPS! Be right down (and up) all three flights of stairs.
9:07 AM Manicure supplies out and ready but I realize I need music. Must turn laptop on to access Spotify.
9:45 AM: I’ve managed to get my nails cleaned up. I removed the tiny remains of polish leftover from Thanksgiving, filed them, and took care of my cuticles with Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover, my cuticle pusher, and cuticle nipper. I finish my manicure by rubbing Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream into my cuticles and giving my hands a good coat of Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment.
10:00 AM: The puppy needs to poop. Up and down the three flights of stairs I go again. She takes her sweet time as if she has no idea how much beautifying I have left to accomplish…
10:30 AM: Exercise! At the risk of being super annoying, I will confess that a good sweat is at the top of my list of de-stressing activities and certainly no “day of beauty” would be complete without it. A good sweat increases circulation and detoxifies your skin. I normally exercise for 30 minutes but today I indulge in a full hour of Tracy Anderson Method cardio and mat work and it feels AWESOME. I rinse the sweat off my face post-workout because no one likes a clogged pore.
11:45 AM: My mother calls. I haven’t called in a couple days so clearly there is something wrong and I must hate her. (But seriously, I love my mom to pieces and I shouldn’t let my busy schedule interfere with checking in. Plus, my husband tells me that when I’m busy, I sound angry on the phone. I feel bad.)
12:00 PM: I walk to Starbucks for lunch. Ok, fine … maybe there’s no Starbucks at a real spa but a) I shouldn’t have to cook on my “day off” and b) I’m craving a Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap. It’s only 290 calories and made with egg whites so whatevs.
12:30 PM: My roots (and grays) are coming in so I apply a touch up. Now, I’m a licensed cosmetologist/working colorist, so I know what I’m doing. If you do your own color at home, I highly recommend Madison Reed because it’s high quality and you can get advice from a real colorist before purchasing. Why risk a mistake, and a costly salon fix, when there is help available? Plus, it’s ammonia (stink) free.
12:45 PM: While my hair color processes, I start working on my feet. My dogs were a mess! I’ve basically ignored them since summer and as a hairstylist and mom, I spend a lot of time on my feet, so they are always achy and sore. I fill a bin with warm water and scoop of Calgon Therapy Soak Mint Green Tea Epsom Salt. It smells amazing and Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which treats muscle tension and soreness. After soaking, I apply Be Natural Callus Eliminator and scrub my heels and rough spots with a foot rasp (you can also use a pumice stone). I repeat the same polish removal, then clip, then file, then cuticle removal routine that I did on my hands, and finish with a slathering of my favorite foot lotion, Be Natural Dry Heel Eliminator. I love this stuff. It totally works on my dry, beat up feet … when I use it.
1:20 PM: I rinse out my hair color and shampoo. I’m five minutes late but grays are resistant so the longer processing time is probably better.
1:30 PM: It looks like “beauty” threw up all over my house. I realize a clean-as-you-go system needs to go into immediate effect and spend some time cleaning up.
2:00 PM: I run a real live bath. A bath, in the middle of the day … absurd, right? And 100% amazing. While the tub is filling, I dump in Osmia Organic Milk Bath and some more Calgon Therapy Soak Mint Green Tea Epsom Salt to relieve my muscles after my killer workout.
2:03 PM: While the bath is running, I break out a new razor and shave my legs with Cocovit Coconut Oil. I heard coconut oil makes a great shaving balm and I was dying to try it. Talk about a smooth shave!
2:05 PM: I apply OmniPotent Duosity Double Whipped Repairing Treatment to my ends and tuck my hair into a processing cap before sinking into the tub with my Allure Magazine. Now this is living.
2:20 PM: After 15 minutes of pure selfish bliss, I get back to work and scrub myself clean with Skin Authority Bamboo Ginseng Scrub, which leaves me exfoliated, soft, and smelling fantastic.
2:30 PM: Time is getting tight now. I slather myself in my favorite body moisturizer — Arbonne Sparkling Citrus Body Butter that I get through my friend, Sara. (Support your local moms, people!) It’s only available during the holiday season and it sells out every year! Good thing I bought three of them the second the holiday collection was available. Looks like you can still purchase their Sparkling Citrus Sugar Scrub…
2:40 PM: I get dressed and decide to put a little makeup on. Why? I don’t know. Because I’m having a beauty day and it seemed appropriate?
3:00 PM: My husband is picking up Julian from school today so I plop myself in front of the TV (Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas, y’all!) and paint my toenails and fingernails. I realize all my flip-flops are in storage so I dig around and find one set of throwaways that I’ve had since beauty school. 10 years ago.
3:50 PM: While I am a colorist, I’m not a magician and there is one thing I can’t do: cut my own hair. Not that I haven’t tried. I have. It’s just usually not as precise as one would want. So I strategically booked a haircut at the salon a block away right when my husband and son are due home. Clever, right? Is a half hour long enough to let my nails dry? I hope so because it’s snowing out.
4:00 PM: Haircut! The stylists rave about my hair color and since a compliment from another colorist is the highest form of flattery, I feel elated.
5:05 PM: I arrive home. “How does my hair look?” I ask. Nobody cares. I’m pretty sure I’d have to get a neon Mohawk to get my family’s attention… Oh well, I like it and it sure feels good to get rid of those dead ends! I take off my boots to find that a half hour is not enough time to let nail polish dry even when you use your hairdryer on them, spray them with hairspray, and slip them into plastic bags before putting on socks and boots. #fail
5:12 PM: My place is still a disaster, which is my doing, so I pick up while my husband makes a “delicious” dinner of brown rice, broccoli, and baked beans. Too funny but I’m too tired at this point to care what I eat.
6:30 PM: After dinner, we do our “family clean up,” which consists of several dessert-withholding threats before my son takes 15 minutes to bring a baked bean can to the recycling bin.
6:45 PM: I make a deal with my husband: I’ll give the kid a shower and you take the dog down to use the facilities. He goes for it … yay! Those stairs are a killer. While Julian is in the shower, I use my Cocovit Coconut Oil again to remove my makeup. Works like a charm, even dissolving my hard core lengthening mascara in just a few seconds. Awesome!
8:00 PM: It’s my son’s bedtime and Sean goes in to read to him so I can finish out my day of beauty. Really, I’m a lucky lady.
8:05 PM: I whip out my new Rodan + Fields Redefine Macro Exfoliator and give it a whirl. It feels a little like a microdermabrasion treatment at a dermatologist’s office or spa. I dig it. I put on the included cooling get and then layer on Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream for extra moisturizing. I then dab Rodan + Fields Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream around my eyes.
8:15 PM I’m burning out. I’ve earned a glass of wine, right? Either way, I pour one, put my feet up, and snuggle with my puppy.
10:05 PM: The dog is licking my face. I fell asleep on the couch and she needs to go out. Up and down the stairs one last time.
10:15 PM: After I brush my teeth, I apply Rodan + Fields Redefine Lip Renewing Serum to my perpetually chapped lips and Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment again to my perpetually dry hands.
10:20 PM: Bed, at last.
6:30 AM: Ok, ok, I’m up.
24 hours of beauty officially complete! While it was more work than relaxation, I’m feeling renewed and accomplished. My skin is soft and glowing, my hair is colored, and my dead ends are gone. I still need to fix my nails but it can wait. No one is going to see my feet until summer anyway.
My recommendations: the DIY approach involves time and energy. If I could do it again, I would schedule one or two activities per day for a week of mini pampering sessions. Each treatment would feel less rushed, and therefore, be more relaxing. Additionally, I wouldn’t feel as guilty about ignoring my family all day and I’d have something to look forward to every day!More On